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Flood emergency continues for Ontario's cottage country

Saturday, May 4th 2019, 3:25 pm - Waters continue to rise in parts of cottage country while clean-up begins for some

Flooding emergencies continue even as waters begin to recede for parts of Ontario's cottage country. Bracebridge officials reported on Friday improvements had been noted along both the North and South Branch Muskoka Rivers though, as of Friday afternoon, water levels through Bracebridge remained 'higher than normal' for this time of year.

Waters in parts of the Muskoka Lakes region were on the rise, however; a one to two-centimetre increase was reported on both lakes Rosseau and Joseph between Thursday and Friday.

In a Friday press conference, Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith said levels in Lake Muskoka were still "at or near peak", and were expected to remain high before beginning a slow recovery to lower levels.

DISASTER ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE

On Wednesday, the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program was initiated for some communities in Muskoka, including Huntsville and Bracebridge. The program assists with basic cost recovery for specific food-related expenses. Information for the program can be found here.

Ontario will provide disaster recovery assistance for residents that live in the Muskoka region and have been impacted by damaging floods.

The assistance is provided through a program run by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and applies to primary residences and their basic contents, small businesses, farms, and not-for-profit organizations. Damages to cottages or other secondary residences do not qualify under this program.

The Town of Bracebridge is providing Waste Disposal Vouchers for flood cleanup for those who have debris on their property associated with the disaster.

GROWING MOULD PROMPTS HEALTH CONCERNS

Victims of flooding, particularly in Muskoka, are being warned about the risk for mould.

While declining water levels in cottage country is a relief to residents, the health risk associated with the appearance of mould is not.

As a result, Health Canada has advised people to avoid contact with anything exposed to floodwaters that can't be dried, citing the potential for mould.

Health Canada says that anything exposed to water that can't be dried, including drywall, carpet and insulation, needs to be thrown away, because of mould potential.

Information and other resources can be found here and the Canadian Red Cross is distributing free cleanup kits to homeowners affected by the flooding.

OPP sent out a tweet Wednesday advising residents to be wary of people in Muskoka attempting to solicit funds for flood relief, asking them to report any suspicious activity.

WATCH BELOW: WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR EMERGENCY CHECKLIST

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